By Tom Horton, PA
Alex Scott has said she has always rejected the label of “female pundit”.
Football presenter Alex Scott has said it is “so key” for young girls to have positive role models as she discussed female representation in sports broadcasting.
The former Arsenal and England star was unveiled as the new host of BBC programme Football Focus last month, and will also present coverage from this summer’s Olympics.
Scott said she was “often spoken about as ‘the female pundit'” when she first began broadcasting.
“I would always respond by saying: ‘No, I’m just a pundit’,” she said.
“The ability for young girls to see strong, positive role models is so key.
“If they can see it, they can aspire to be it.
“Sport is sport, and I think that’s important, not just when it comes to gender but also diversity and inclusivity more broadly, for instance with the Paralympics.”
Scott said that going without sport during the lockdown was difficult.
“The magic of sport, and of the Olympics, is that it unites people, so it was tough to have that taken away,” she said.
“I was fortunate to still be working across a number of TV shows during the lockdowns, but I remember discussing on The One Show early on that it felt like everyone was on a journey of constantly trying to search for an end point, which was possibly the hardest thing.
“That’s why it will be so brilliant to have a summer of sport, to get that feelgood factor back.”
Scott took part in the interview with Good Housekeeping alongside fellow Tokyo Olympics broadcasters Clare Balding and Gabby Logan.
Balding said: “I think we represent three different types of women: I’m the oldest with no children, Gabby has two and Alex doesn’t have any yet – all trying to do our jobs and juggling our lives as best we can.”
Logan added there has been “so much progress made in terms of women’s representation, but for me, it’s about thinking more widely”.
“Sport should be accessible to all,” she added.
Read the full interview in the August issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale from Wednesday.